People don’t often stop to think about the quality of the
air around them. Just like walking, talking and breathing, it’s a factor of
life that’s taken for granted.
That is unless you’re a heating, ventilation and air
conditioning (HVAC) technician. You’re then aware of what a difference great indoor
air quality (IAQ) can make.
Air balancing and routine maintenance of ventilation equipment
play pivotal roles in preserving IAQ and creating a comfortable, healthy
atmosphere for inhabitants. In a commercial setting, productivity and general wellness
can suffer as a direct result of poor practices.
Through gaining an understanding of their pivotal importance,
and the potential impact of disregarding proper ventilation and air balancing,
service engineers can better understand the value of highly accurate
Air Balancing &
IAQ: What you need to know.
Commercial buildings are most often closed environments, and
every action has a corresponding reaction. Take sunlight for example, which can
skew temperatures in certain areas – especially if staff can’t open the
Depending on where an office is located in Australia, it’s
likely that north-facing rooms would take in more heat than south, east or
west. In a conventional HVAC system, air flow to every area would be equal. But
the cooling power would be too weak to create a comfortable setting for rooms
facing north, and perhaps too strong for those in the south.
Air balancing counters this by dispersing the cooling load
according to specific need. By testing and measuring air flow with an air velocity
instrument, technicians gain valuable data that can be analysed to adjust
equipment appropriately, creating an equilibrium that suits the needs of every
individual room. The process must also take into account alternative sources of
heat, such as computer towers or other machinery.
IAQ is a direct result of ventilation practices – whether for
better or worse. A number of factors combine to provide either a comfortable environment
for occupants, or one that could be potentially hazardous to their health:
While air balancing is designed to improve general comfort,
regular IAQ testing is employed to root out a variety of disturbances that
could cause occupants to feel drowsy, reduction in productivity or even be
susceptible to CO poisoning.